Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 14:21 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 14:21 | SYDNEY

The new world of privacy


Sam Roggeveen


13 March 2008 13:44

It's astonishing how much personal history the New York Times was able to discover about the prostitute allegedly involved in the Eliot Spitzer scandal. What's more, it all took little more than a day to compile, and the reporters probably never left their desks to do it — much of the information was culled from the young lady's MySpace page. And that hits on one of the more mysterious elements of this loss of privacy in the internet age: rather than privacy being taken away, millions around the world are giving it up for free.

A teenager contemplating a political career will have to think very carefully about whether the kind of life they are leading now could come back to hurt them. Though come to think of it, that logic is increasingly going to apply to anyone looking for a job. Embellishing your CV may work at the moment, but will hold less water if a prospective employer discovers a photo of you on your friend's Facebook page showing you at 3am on your 21st birthday party.

It will be interesting to see how different societies cope with this change.